A public-private partnership, funded in part by a grant program killed earlier this year by the state’s fiscal crisis, could within a decade help adult leukemia patients fight off the disease.
The $841,000, three-year project at the University of California, San Francisco, seeks to discover compounds that expand the number of stem cells found in umbilical cord blood and the placenta. If successful, that could increase the chances of adult leukemia patients receiving bone marrow transplants with blood-forming stem cells.
The cost of the project is covered by a “Discovery Grant” from the UC Office of the President and GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ cell technologies unit.
The UC grant program was set up to encourage projects between UC scientists and companies. In May, however, UC told researchers the program would be eliminated to help reduce a projected $500 million cut in state funding in fiscal 2012. Only the best of the best projects already in the pipeline would be funded, a UC spokeswoman said.